The Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS) is a peer-reviewed journal created and edited by the iThrive Games Foundation and published by ETC Press. The goal of Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS) is to encourage interdisciplinary research, conversation, and community around game studies and games-related scholarship. The journal highlights work focused on how games, game design, and gameplay contribute to a deeper understanding of learning, health, and humanity. Scholars from all disciplines are encouraged to participate.

iThrive Games really listened to the game developers and scholars in the HEVGA workshop, quickly brainstorming ideas with people in attendance, and stepping up to try and help the field grow with a new forum for scholarship focused around human-centered game design.”

– Drew Davidson,  Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon

I am delighted that the editorial board is a set of very accomplished scholars in the field from a wide range of member institutions, and firmly believe that iThrive, given their philanthropic mission to understand these issues and status as a non-profit committed to furthering human knowledge, is the right group to help establish this important effort.  It is the first in what I hope are a series of new academic venues for work in various sub-disciplines and knowledge domains as our understanding of games and immersive media continues to expand..

– Andrew Phelps, President of HEVGA and founder and Director of the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often do you publish the Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS)?
Once per year.

When does the next issue of the Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS) come out?
New issues of the journal are published in early Spring.

How much does it cost to submit to or publish in the Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS)?
There is no cost to submit a paper or to have one published. All manuscripts are published digitally through ETC Press and therefore free to all. If you want a physical copy of the journal, ETC does charge a small fee for printing and shipping, simply to cover the costs of printing. There are no institutional or subscription fees.

How and where are calls for the Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS) papers distributed?
The best places to hear about future calls for papers are our website, the iThrive monthly newsletter, and on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. We also publish our call for papers on the Games Network and HEVGA listservs.

How do I know if my paper is a good fit for the Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS)?
The goal of the JGSS is to encourage interdisciplinary research, conversation, and community. As such, we do not have requirements for research to be in a specific field of study. If your game studies or research – either theoretical or empirical – is focused on how games, game design, or gameplay contribute to a deeper understanding of learning, health, or humanity, you’re in a good place. Works focused on teens are especially encouraged. If you’re not sure about your paper’s fit, you can contact us at

Do you publish null results in Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS)?
Yes! Null results are still results and an important part of game studies, healthy science and scholarship.

Will the Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS) also consider publishing results-blind Registered Reports?
Yes. JGSS is committed to the advancement of publication methodology and observing best practices — embracing results-blind and pre-registered reports is an important step toward more transparent and ethical game studies and research.

What is JGSS’s stance on republishing translated work?
We welcome texts that have been previously published in a different language provided that, in addition to translating the paper into English, they have made noticeable changes to the text to differentiate it from the previously published text. It’s the responsibility of the authors to secure all permissions from initial publication to republish an article. Demonstrated proof must be provided upon submission.

How does the Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS) review process work?
Journal of Games, Self, and Society (JGSS) uses a double-blind review process which means that reviewers do not know the identity of the authors and vice versa. Each paper is reviewed by two members of the editorial board and is assigned a mark of Strong Accept, Accept, Weak Accept, Weak Reject, and Reject.

  • Strong Accept – The work meets or exceeds the standards of a top paper in any reputable journal.
  • Accept – The work is of value and the paper is worth publication; some minor revisions may be required.
  • Borderline – The work may have value, but it is unclear if there is adequate time to make revisions necessary to clarify that value in the paper; OR unclear if it is appropriate for this venue.
  • Reject – The work may have value, but significant re-writes are necessary before it should be considered for publication; OR it is reasonably sure this venue is inappropriate.
  • Strong Reject – Neither the work nor its articulation appear to be ready for publication; OR this venue is inappropriate.

Reviewers’ comments will be provided when authors are notified of their paper’s status. Papers receiving an evaluation of Borderline (i.e. those requiring major revisions) will be required to submit a revised paper addressing the comments and concerns of reviewers in order to be considered for publication. Should a situation occur where a paper receives conflicting reviewer scores (e.g. one accept and one reject) a third reviewer will evaluate the paper.

My JGSS submission received an overall mark of Borderline. What does that mean in terms of acceptance to the journal?
Papers marked as requiring major revisions will be provided feedback from the reviewers and required to resubmit their paper for review. The paper will be reevaluated upon re-submission. If the work fails to comprehensively address the requested edits or does not meet publication standards during reevaluation, JGSS retains the right to decline the paper.